I get so many questions on magnesium, so thought I’d write a bit more on it.
Magnesium is helpful for so many conditions such as inflammation, PANDA’s/PANS, immune system disorders, neurotransmitter imbalances, stress, migraines, vitamin D deficiency, blood sugar imbalances, gut health, mood swings, urinary issues and heart health.
Other symptoms with magnesium deficiency
- Lack of magnesium can affect the nervous system, which can result in increased urination, appetite issues, sleep issues, Also depression and anxiety.
- Magnesium supports adrenal health and regulates cortisol (the stress hormone). A magnesium deficiency allows high levels of cortisol to remain in the body. If cortisol levels stay elevated your blood sugar will rise. Insulin is then released to lower your blood sugar.
- Magnesium deficiency can increase an allergic response.
- Magnesium helps control blood glucose levels in the body by regulating insulin secretion from the pancreas.
- A magnesium deficiency will automatically result in a lack of vitamin B1 as it can’t work without magnesium. B1 (thiamine) helps to release energy from foods, promotes normal appetite and is important in maintaining proper nervous system function.
- Long term magnesium loss/deficiency can result in increased aluminium in the cell replacing magnesium.
What you need to absorb magnesium:
Magnesium requires vitamin B6 (ideally active form p-5-p) to get inside the cells, boron to stay in the cells and bicarbonate to get into the mitochondria.
Some people struggle with B6, so focusing on trying to get the magnesium (and boron) up a bit more before giving b6 can help.
You also need stomach acid to absorb Magnesium and this is often the first place I look at with clients.
The type of magnesium really does matter.
- The fastest and most tolerated way to increase magnesium levels is transdermally (through the skin) I like magnesium chloride for the bath or footbath.
- Magnesium chloride based oils that you can rub on the skin (can make skin itchy).
- Magnesium chloride oral liquid.
- Magnesium citrate is a common form, but doesn’t provide good levels of magnesium in the body.
- Magnesium threonate is good for the brain but doesn’t provide much for the body.
- Magnesium taurate can be good for some (but not my favourite).
- Epsom salts aren’t always tolerated if you have an issue with sulfur.
- Do avoid Magnesium oxide, which has a very low absorption rate.
How much magnesium?
I never guess and use hair mineral tests to be guided on the amount. Just to mention, during increased stress, a Pandas/Pans flare or virus etc. it is rapidly depleted. It may be necessary to increase magnesium during these times by double.
My biggest piece of advice!
As amazing as magnesium is, flooding the body with too much magnesium can make things so much worse and can lower adrenal function, it’s so important to balance it with sodium and potassium (and a few other minerals). Testing is important to find out your individual levels, so then you know what YOU need.